Monday, November 28, 2005


As of today, Australian time, Jones & Jones are one step closer to owning the property concern in Newtown. I managed to get the planets, bank, solicitors, and agents aligned and we exchanged the contracts. There's a five day cooling off period (requested by me) so we can bail if the premises collapse in a pool of rubble on Saturday. But I have been led to believe that it won't. So by next Monday, we should be well and truly locked in Eddie.

It's been raining just a tad recently, and my planned big training week has been scuttled by the forces of nature. It's just not as fun riding in the rain in Sydney as it is in Belgium. Too many cars. So I've been limited to about 60-70 km a day for the past few days, with no racing. The bee-sting swelling has disappeared though, and strangely I didn't have any side effects from the prednisone. It did work.

The CA Awards were a slightly more memorable occasion than last year, namely due to the fact that I stuck to beer and beer alone. I swear they watered it down though, because I'd normally expect to feel some light headedness after 11 glasses. Maybe I'm just used to the real Belgian stuff.

Steve and Simone's wedding went off on Saturday, and the heavens lifted especially for the occasion. Everything was in Steve's garden in West Pymble, and it was the most chaotic wedding ceremony I've ever seen. Things got signed so I'm sure it's legally binding. 100-odd people there, the bbq was good, and I found out from Dave that The Property is actually being sold by a friend of his! He said no-one turned up to the auction four weeks ago!! That's pretty funny. But both Dave and Steve have stayed there, and reckon that it's a goer.

Finally, I just finished reading The Corporation by Joel Bakan. It's an interesting read, examining big, publicly traded companies and their ethics. Basically, because a corporation is legally required to maximise profits for its shareholders, it is sometimes forced to act in an amoral and often illegal manner. Think clothing sweatshops, for example. But the costs of breaking the law are outweighed by the benefits in doing so, so it continues. From a normal human point of view, this is a bad thing, but the corporation is so dominant and powerful at the moment that we have little choice but to accept it, even if we did know what was going on all the time. The continuing deregulation and privatisation merely adds to a corporation's power, and that has as a consequence a more inhuman society and a more selfish population, which I reckon is a bad thing.

The book details many examples, and Bakan reiterates his point several times per chapter. It's a little belaboured, the back and forth switching between two sides of the argument is confusing at times, and the logical conclusions predicted are often unrealistic, but overall it's still a good read, informative, and not written by a radical. At the end, Bakan proposes a whole lotta solutions, with the main one being that governments have to reclaim their power to regulate corporations, because now with all the money being poured into government coffers by the corporations, democracy is thrown out the window. Donations to political parties at election time are a good example.

I am kind of glad that I work for a privately owned (and ethical) company.

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